MATCH PREVIEW: Hereford vs Bradford (Park Avenue)

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The Avenue make the long trip to Herefordshire this Saturday as they look to pick up a vital three points away at Hereford.

Avenue, currently residing at the bottom of the table, need to start picking up wins very quickly and very consistently if they are to have any hope of avoiding the drop from the National League North this season. It has been a frustrating few weeks for Bradford, who have been able to put together a string of impressive performances, especially in their last two games against York City and Boston United, but unfortunately have come away with nothing to show for it.

Hereford, meanwhile, enter the game on just as bad a run of form, if not worse, with just one win in their last 13 league games, which came against Kidderminster two weeks ago. The home side currently sit in 16th place in the league table after having a decent start to the season, but they have spent the last couple of months slipping and sliding down the table.

In the reverse fixture, which took place at the Horsfall Stadium in October, the Avenue ran out 3-2 victors which should give Bradford plenty of confidence heading into the game this weekend, with goals from Adam Nowakowski, Lewis Knight, and Dan Sweeney sealing the three points for the Avenue in which was a very entertaining and back-and-forth affair.

With the Avenue desperate to pick up points to avoid the drop, being 12 points behind 20th placed Curzon Ashton at the moment, and Hereford determined to put a halt to their slide down the table, it makes for a very interesting game between two sides who don’t just want, but need three points.

MATCH REPORT: Bradford (Park Avenue) vs Boston United

In an entertaining duel at the Horsfall Stadium, Bradford (Park Avenue) fell 2-1 to Boston United in a result that sees them now falling deeper and deeper into the bottom of the Vanarama National League North table. 

There was no place in which you could fault the effort and desire of the Avenue players, who gave it their all on the pitch, but once again it was the same story that has haunted them all season in which they just weren’t able to take their chances. 

It was the worst possible start, though, for Bradford as they fell behind after just 45 seconds after the always dangerous Jordan Thewlis managed to slip in Dom Knowles, who showed his composure by slotting the ball comfortbaly underneath Joe Green to give his side the lead. 

From then on, it was always going to be an uphill battle for an Avenue side, who, although they are playing well, are desperately struggling for points. Avenue manager Mark Bower was furious when his side wasn’t awarded a penalty after Tom Clare looked to have been fouled in the box and the Avenue the found themselves further behind after former player Simon Ainge managed to strike the ball home after Green wasn’t able to gather the ball from the inswinging corner.  

Avenue didn’t let that finish them off, though, as they got themselves straight back into the game and it was Nicky Clee who brought one back for the hosts with an absolutely terrific half volley which Boston keeper, Peter Crook, simply could do nothing about.  

And then soon after, Tom Clare latched onto a fantastic through ball from new signing Jake Hibbs, but his effort was remarkably saved by Crook who managed to touch the ball onto the post. 

Both sides returned from half time, and although it was a feisty affair with strong challenges coming in from left and right, not much happened in regards with the ball until the Avenue started piling on the pressure late in the game, but somehow after chances with Oli Johnson and Adam Nowakowski, they somehow couldn’t find the net and the Avenue undeservedly fell to another defeat. 

The result leaves Avenue bottom of the table, although a win wouldn’t have moved them up anyway, and next week they travel to Hereford to take on 16th placed Hereford United. 

BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE): Green, Toulson (Lund, 82). Staunton, Nowakowski, Hughes, Priestley, Hall, HIbbs, Clare (Johnson, 67), Hurst, Clee 

SUBS NOT USED: Nicholson, Marriott 

BOSTON UNITED: Crook, Penny, Whittle (Jackson, 46), Platt, Ainge, Garner, Woolford, Abbott, Knowles, Thewlis (Wafula, 90), Wright (Rollins, 83) 

SUBS NOT USED: Southwell, Willis 

MATCH PREVIEW: Bradford (Park Avenue) vs Boston United

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Bradford (Park Avenue) return home to the Horsfall Stadium when they host Boston United this Saturday (4/01/20). 

Avenue are coming off two straight away games at Farsley Celtic and York City while Boston United travel to Bradford after hosting two straight games against Kettering Town and Kings Lynn.  

Despite a 5-0 loss to Farsley last week, the Avenue were much improved in their New Year’s Day game at York City, and despite the scoreline, were the better team for most spells of the match and manager Mark Bower hopes that they can carry on those types of performances, stating that playing the way that they did against York will get them a good result against “many of the teams in the league”. 

Boston United, too, are coming off a tough loss from New Years Day after being dispatched 3-0 at home by top of the table Kings Lynn. United sit in 9th in the National League North table, just three points behind the playoff spots, albeit with a number of games in hand on the teams above so they will be travelling to Horsfall with the hopes of strengthening their cause for a playoff spot. 

It’s a much different story for the Avenue though. After a rough offseason after finishing in the playoffs last season, Bradford, now five months into the season, find themselves bottom of the table by five points and ten points from safety with Bower insisting that although it will be difficult, he still has confidence in his players that they will be able to pull off what would be a miraculous escape.  

The Avenue will be without Jon Royle, who has now returned to his parent club AFC Telford, after a brief spell on loan whilst Jake Hibbs could make his return to the Avenue squad after joining on loan from Spennymoor Town earlier this week.  

MATCH REPORT: York City 2-1 Bradford (Park Avenue)

Despite a spirited performance, the Avenue once again fell victim to the same team they lost to at the Horsfall Stadium last week. 

But unlike last week, the Avenue players must have left the pitch feeling hard done by after putting in a much improved performance, and were probably the better team for most periods of the match but unfortunately, as has happened too much this season, mistakes came back to haunt them and they were unable to leave the Crescent Stadium with any of the spoils. 

York began the game with plenty of possession, but Avenue gradually got more and more involved, and by the second half were, in most instances, the more dominant team – but by then, the damage had mostly been done, as York had taken the lead in the first 15 minutes of the game courtesy of Macauley Langstaff, who brilliantly kept his composure to turn the ball home after some wonderful play down the left from Adriano Moke created the opportunity. 

Avenue, however, could have had a leveller almost instantly as Nowakowski, returning to the squad from injury, headed agonizingly over the bar. Another chance soon followed for Bradford as a mix up in the York defence led to newest signing, Ryan Hall, finding himself through on goal, but in a difficult position his touch was too heavy and that allowed the hosts goalkeeper to race out and clear the ball before Hall could get to it. 

Chances then came for York to double their lead, but their shots weren’t threatening the returning Avenue keeper, Joe Green, and he did well to deal with a flurry of crosses that were sent into the box by the York fullbacks.  

Avenue went into half time trailing 1-0, but importantly still in the game. As both sides returned from the break, it was Bradford who started to take more control of it, with the York fans getting visibly frustrated by them not being able to do much. York did have their chances to double their lead before they eventually did, Kieran Green coming closest after running through the Avenue defence but his thumping shot went just wide. Avenue, though, had chances themselves, the biggest coming through Ryan Hall but his efforts were superbly saved by the York City goalkeeper. 

Despite the chances, it was York who scored the vital second goal just ten minutes from time, but it really should have been avoided. Captain Burrow was played through, but his shot was straight at Joe Green, but Green unfortunately let the ball slide through his hands and into the net; it was a harsh one for the keeper who was returning from injury as he had played a really good game beforehand. 

It was always going to be difficult for Bradford to come back from such a deficit with a short amount of time left, but they didn’t give up and substitute Liam Hughes grabbed a consolation with a great strike, but it was too little too late as it ended up being the last kick of the game. 

The result means that the Avenue remain bottom of the table, 4 points behind Blyth Spartans and 9 points behind Kettering Town. 

Matchday 24 National League Statpack

The National League’s official betting partner, LV BET take a look at the pick of the New Year’s Day fixtures in Matchday 24 in the National League North:

Boston United v King’s Lynn

  • King’s Lynn hold a four-point lead at the top of the National League North despite dropping two points on Saturday at Alfreton.
  • Boston United are undefeated at home and have let in just four goals at York Street so far this season.
  • Adam Marriott is King’s Lynn Town’s top scorer – nobody in the National League North has more than his 22 goals.
  • King’s Lynn won the Boxing day clash 1-0. The leaders have won seven of their last eight matches.

York City v Bradford PA

  • Title-chasing York have won just once in five and missed the chance to close the gap on Saturday, losing 2-1 to Guiseley.
  • Struggling Bradford have lost nine of their last ten National League North matches and sit bottom of the table.
  • The Minstermen won the Boxing Day fixture 2-0 but York have won less than half of their home matches this season.
  • Avenue have let in 63 goals already – and they have only scored 14, less than anyone else.

Chester v Southport

  • Chester have won just one in four and are ten points adrift of leaders King’s Lynn.
  • Southport have lost their last two, letting in six goals. They still hold a play-off place.
  • Chester won the Boxing Day meeting 3-1 and the Seals have won six of their ten home games. Southport have taken six points from nine away from home.
  • Only Brackley Town and leaders King’s Lynn have scored more goals than Chester this season.

Spennymoor v Darlington

  • Darlington have won four games in a row for the first time this season.
  • Spennymoor are clinging onto a play-off place after just one win in five matches.
  • The Quakers won this fixture 2-1 on Boxing Day and they are now just a point away from the promotion places.
  • Spennymoor have taken 22 points from a possible 30 at home this season, scoring an average of nearly 2.5 goals a game.

MATCH REPORT: Farsley 5-0 Avenue

A second half capitulation saw Bradford (Park Avenue) hammered at near neighbours Farsley Celtic.

Avenue were on top for the first period, missing a handful of chances before two penalties and three set-pieces gifted play-off chasing Farsley a victory.

Mark Bower’s visitors had some early danger to deal with as Tom Nicholson failed to gather a Farsley free-kick, and as Tom Allen looked set to prod the loose ball home, somehow Ryan Toulson got back to deny a certain goal.

The pitch was proving problematic for both sides as home goalkeeper Kyle Trenerry saw a miscued effort cannon dangerously off Lewis Knight, who saw a shot blocked away before he was forced off injured after just 19 minutes.

Avenue were well on top of their opponents as Isiah Bazeley, one of two changes to Bower’s starting 11, saw a low effort blocked away before Alex Hurst stung Trennery’s palms after cutting inside.

That preceeded a frantic last five minutes of the half, which saw both sides have their eyes on opening the scoring.

First, Hurst burst forward on the left, finding Johnson who couldn’t work room for a strike, Isaac Marriott’s eventual effort flying just wide.

Johnson then worked space in the area for a powerful strike which Trenerry again held at the second attempt, before Avenue’s biggest chance of the half.

A ricochet in midfield put Hurst through on goal but he couldn’t beat an onrushing Trenerry as the ball just wouldn’t settle for a strike.

And straight up the other end, Nicholson had to be at his best as a fortuotous bounce saw the loose ball fall Will Hayhurst’s way, but his low effort was well saved by the legs of Avenue’s number one.

Nicky Clee then saw an effort blocked by former Avenue man Adam Clayton, before Tom Allen flashed a dangerous cross across the face of Nicholson’s goal moments before the half-time whistle.

But immediately after the break, Avenue capitulated as Cartman opened the scoring little over two minutes into the half.

Bradford failed to defend a deep free-kick which Clayton volleyed across goal, Cartman there to bundle the ball over the line at the back post.

And less than two minutes later, Farsley were gifted the chance to double their lead as Marriott appeared to have prevent the danger from Tyler Walton’s burst into the box, but the Huddersfield loanee attempted a slide tackle, and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Hayhurst, who had been wrongly announced as the scorer of the first, stepped up and found the bottom corner giving Farsley a two-goal lead after just five minutes of the second period.

It was a complete turnaround from the first half as Avenue couldn’t get out of their half, and their inability to defend set-pieces was their downfall once more.

A corner came in from the left on 63 minutes and fell perfectly for Dave Syers, who lashed home on the half-volley.

The pick of the goals came moments later, again as Avenue failed to clear a corner, the ball was headed around and found its way to centre-back Jack Higgins, who acrobatically volleyed the ball into the top corner, wheeling away in wild celebration.

Nicholson was still alert, keeping out a Hayhurst header which looked bound for the top corner, before Reece Staunton did brilliantly to get back as Syers was in on goal, the number one then unconventionally saving Luke Parkin’s follow-up with his feet.

There was time late in the day for Farsley to add a fifth as another ridiculous slide tackle came in in the area, and the referee had no hesitation pointing to the spot again. Hayhurst picked himself up and converted once more to round off the scoring.

There was a moment to celebrate for Avenue in the second period, as Jamie Lyons came off the bench for his league debut, the first time an Avenue Academy graduate has appeared for the first team.

Farsley Celtic: Trenerry, Richards, Allen, C.Atkinson, Higgins, Clayton (c), Walton (B.Atkinson 79), Syers, Cartman (Parkin 71), Hayhurst, Francis

Subs not used: Wynne, Ellis, Regan

Goals: Cartman (48), Hayhurst (50P), Syers (63), Higgins (65)

Booked: Higgins (66), Allen (74)

Bradford (Park Avenue): Nicholson, Toulson, Staunton, Lowe (c), Priestley, Bazeley (Lyons 73), Knight (O.Johnson 19), Marriott, Clare, Hurst, Clee (Hughes 73)

Subs not used: Lund, Dickinson

Referee: Dean Hulme

Attendance: 784

MATCH REPORT: Bradford (Park Avenue) 0-2 York City

Bradford (Park Avenue) remain bottom of the National League North after a 2-0 defeat at home to York City. 

Goals at either side of the half from Kieran Green and Jordan Burrows gifted York their first win this month after previously going three games without a win. 

It was a very lively start to the game, and despite York controlling the majority of the possession for most periods, chances came and went for either team. Alex Hurst came antagonisingly close to breaking the deadlock for the Avenue in the first real big chance of the game but his left-footed effort from just inside the York box rolled wide of the post with York keeper Pete Jameson looking beaten. 

Almost instantly after that Avenue chance, York had a huge one of their own when Kieran Green raced clear on the right-hand side in the Avenue half, his low cross into the box then just narrowly evaded the incoming striker, Jordan Burrows, to keep the scores at 0-0, although both sides really should have gone ahead within that two minute period. 

Afterwards, there were small chances for both teams, Tom Clare shot over from around 25 yards out on a half volley but it was York City who struck with the all-important first goal of the game; sloppy play from the Avenue resulted in Nicholson having to make a decent save from a York header, but the rebound from the save fell to Kieran Green and the York man made no mistake in slotting the ball home to give the visitors the lead. 

From then on, Avenue’s confidence seemed wounded and York began to take more and more control of the game with the away side putting the Avenue defence under an increasing amount of pressure, with the biggest chance coming from Kieran Green who’s header from McLaughlin’s free kick struck off the post, but their efforts into building onto their lead were unsuccessful heading into half time. 

When the sides returned from half time, it didn’t take long for York to strike the deadly blow, which came in the form of a 2nd goal for the visitors courtesy of captain Burrows. The York striker gave York complete control, heading the ball into the net after some brilliant work on the right hand side of the Avenue area from Kallum Griffiths.  

The second goal for York seemed to awaken the Avenue side for a brief spell, and they came so close to getting themselves back into the game but Tom Clare couldn’t connect onto a wonderful ball that was sent in from Alex Hurst. 

From then on, the sting seemed to be taken out of the game with not much created – York happy to let Avenue see more of the ball, but remaining resolute at the back to ensure that they wouldn’t concede. 

The game continued but Avenue looked out of answers, and on a dull afternoon in West Yorkshire, it was another dull result for an Avenue side who need to start picking up points very soon to have a chance of avoiding the drop. 

Bradford (Park Avenue): Nicholson, Toulson (Bazeley 74), Staunton, Lowe (c), Priestley, Royle, Knight, Hurst, Clare, O.Johnson (Marriott 58), Clee (Hughes 74)

Subs not used: Green, Lyons

Booked: Bazeley (89)

York City: Jameson, Griffiths, Ferguson, Newton, Tait, McLaughlin, Langstaff (Durrell 76), Moke, Burrow (c), Green (Bond 86), Kempster (King 86)

Subs not used: Maguire, Whitley

Goals: Green (26), Burrow (51)

Booked: Ferguson (89)

Referee: Simeon Lucas

Attendance: 1,127

MATCH REPORT: Spennymoor Town 3-0 Bradford (Park Avenue)

It was yet another league away defeat for the Avenue as they fell 3-0 to Spennymoor Town on a bitterly disappointing Saturday afternoon in County Durham. 

In a game in which the hosts dominated possession, the Avenue knew that when the chances came, they had to take them but unfortunately that wasn’t the case as they were unable to find their clincial nature when they needed it the most. 

It was a quiet beginning to the game, the home side had the majority of the possession but didn’t really show much attacking intent as Avenue defended well. A couple of decent chances fell Avenue’s way before Spennymoor opened the scoring, the most notable chances coming for Tom Clare and Isaac Marriott. 

Clare’s opportunity came just after the 20 minute mark – some sublime play down the left from Oli Johnson allowed to him to find Nicky Clee in space who’s cross into the box met the head of Clare who outleaped the Spennymore defence, but his header was saved by Gould, who enjoyed a fine afternoon in net for the hosts. 

Almost instantly after that chance, though, Spennymoor had one of their own. Earing found space and ran into the Avenue half, and his through ball to Ramshaw allowed Ramshaw to get a strike off on goal which hit the bar. 

A couple of early subs were then forced for Mark Bower’s side with Adam Nowakowski, making his 100th appearance for the Avenue, substituted off after just half an hour, and he was shortly followed by Mitch Lund with both men leaving with suspected injuries. 

Spennymoor took the lead in the 33rd minute through Ramshaw, who was played through on goal and calmly slotted past Avenue debutant Nicholson. 

Coming out of half time, Avenue’s performance improved as they enjoyed more of the possession, but that possession didn’t translate to too many chances – the best one falling to Tom Clare, who shot just wide after doing well to create himself some space just inside the Spennymoor box. 

Despite Avenue being the better team in the second half, it was Spennymoor who scored the crucial second goal of the game through Mark Anderson, who then also made it 3-0 with a wonderful half volley from 25 yards out which capped off an unfortunate afternoon for Bradford. 

Magnay was given his marching orders by the ref deep into stoppage time after receiving his second yellow of the game, but it was too little too late for the Avenue who now face the difficult task of playing York City on Boxing Day. 

MATCH PREVIEW: Spennymoor Town vs Bradford (Park Avenue)

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The Avenue travel to The Brewery Field this weekend (21/12/19) to take on Spennymoor Town as they return to league action for the first time in 2 weeks. 

Bradford are coming off a busy week, which included two cup games – the first, last weekend, ending in a 2-2 draw with Halesowen Town, before losing the replay on Tuesday night 2-0. The Avenue can now look forward to focusing solely on the league as they look to fight off relegation just one season after making the playoffs. 

Spennymoor, meanwhile, return back to their home field after a lengthy absence – their last home game occurring just over a month ago in which they ran out 1-0 winners over Southport. Since then, however, they are winless in their last three with draws in the league against Telford United and Leamington, as well as a loss to the latter in the FA Trophy. 

Avenue are on an up-and-down run of form, with wins against Gloucester City and Altrincham over the last month also being met with losses against Chester FC and Halesowen Town, they will now be looking to find some consistency in getting positive results in order to support them in their fight against relegation this term – with just a point behind Blyth Spartans, and six points off the drop, this busy festive period coming up presents the perfect chance for the Avenue to do just that. 

A number of key players should be in line to return to the squad following a week of being cup-tied due to the FA Trophy — the likes of Nicky Clee, Tom Clare and Jon Royle will be chomping at the bit to get back to action after being forced to miss out in the two cup games against Halesowen Town. 

It all marks the last game before Christmas, but the start of a very busy and entertaining festive period!

MATCH PREVIEW: Halesowen Town vs Bradford (Park Avenue)

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Bradford (Park Avenue) travel to the West Midlands on Tuesday night as they play Halesowen Town in the replay of their Buildbase FA Trophy tie.  

The two sides played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Horsfall Stadium on Saturday, meaning that the Avenue will now have to travel to The Grove as both teams look to secure their spot into the second round of the competition to play Maidenhead United, who were 4-2 victors at home against Hemel Hempstead. 

In what, for most parts, seemed like a very cagey affair, it was Lewis Knight and Keith Lowe who scored the goals to secure the Avenue a second chance at winning the tie in a very cold and blistery afternoon. A difficult game is to be expected at The Grove, however, as Halesowen have scored 8 goals in just their last two home games, one of which was a 6-0 drubbing of Bedford Town. 

Outside of the FA Trophy, with a week off for most teams in the National League North, the Avenue remain bottom of the table but still just a point off Blyth Spartans and six points off Kettering Town who occupy the two spots above. The Avenue travel to the Brewery Field this weekend to take on sixth place Spennymoor Town. 

With the draw on Saturday, that now makes it just one loss in their last four fixtures for Bradford, who are starting to pick up a decent bit of form — their best of the season so far — and hopefully can translate it into more wins as we enter a busy festive period. 

The club will be running a supporter’s coach for the game tomorrow (17/12/2019), with seats costing £16 for adults and £10 for under 16’s. You can reserve a seat by contacting Neil Fawcett on 07811959003. We hope to see you there!